Examining the gender gap in children's Attitudes toward politics

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37 Scopus citations


In the 2004 presidential election, a majority of men (54%) voted to reelect George W. Bush, but a minority of women (48%) supported Bush at the polls. The gender gap was also evident in races for the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate in 2004. In addition, there is a persistent and significant difference in policy preferences and political priorities among men and women. Taken together, the evidence clearly indicates that men and women currently view politics in the United States differently. What factors help explain these differences? In the present study, we examined whether boys and girls view politics differently. We interviewed eighth-grade students from six middle schools in Maricopa County, AZ in the spring of 2003 and 2004. Our results indicate that the gender gap in policy and partisanship is established early, before children reach adulthood. This suggests that the persistent gender gap in adult views about politics is rooted, at least partially, in gender differences during childhood socialization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalSex Roles
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Gender gap
  • Political attitudes
  • Political socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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